To unlock opportunity for all Americans and create an equitable recovery, we must support digital skills development for the 32 million adults who cannot use a computer, and half of all Americans who are not comfortable learning online. Our inaugural report highlights the urgency—and imperative—of this work as digital skills divides exacerbate existing inequities. It identifies opportunities to fill some of the most pressing gaps in access to technology, to digital skills instruction, and to supports for using technologies to upskill and navigate career transitions. Together, we can help individuals build the digital resilience needed to thrive not only in today’s world of work—but also tomorrow’s.
With technology transforming our workplaces and daily life, we are at a critical crossroads on our journey to build a resilient workforce and economic mobility for all Americans. Access remains a stubborn barrier to upskilling and reskilling. 20 million Americans don’t have access to broadband internet. 73% of service sector workers lack skills to solve problems in digital environments, and less than 10% can access opportunities to improve their digital literacy and other foundational skills. As we aim to build back better our economy, recovery efforts must prioritize closing persistent digital divides.
Over the last year, the Digital US coalition has conducted a landscape scan of the biggest gaps in access to digital skills development for learner workers at risk of being left behind in our digital economy. It has also identified promising efforts to close these gaps that we need to align and support, as well as areas of need for new delivery models and innovation.